Carlie came home from camp and announced, "Everyone thinks I am going to be Tracy. But I'll be happy even if I am Amber."
If you're unfamiliar with Hairspray, Tracy is the lead and Amber is the lead mean girl.
My daughter, she aims high.
I don't know what it is with my hardwiring that causes my immediate reaction to be, "Oh no, she's going to be so disappointed." What's wrong with me?
Instead of excitement for tomorrow, which is all Carlie feels, I feel dread. The dread of impending disappointment and heartbreak. I had to stop myself, consciously stop going down the black hole, and let the thought in that maybe she'd get the part she wants and life would be swell.
But I really wonder what it is in my psyche that causes me to go to the *bad* place immediately. I had loving parents. I had a stable upbringing. I have a nice home and a great family. And I? Am, like, the Princess of Darkness, Doom-R-Us.
I have issues. I acknowledge that. My greatest desire right now is to not pass on those issues to yet another child. My older kids are awesome people, but they? Have issues.
Daughter pregnant at 19? check.
Son unemployed by choice as a form of rebellion against our "petroleum based lifestyle," mooching food and a room and probably pot off of friends? check.
High school junior with self-imposed need for academic perfection? check.
I didn't raise my kids in a vacuum. I know that. But in each of them I can see my stamp, my mark, my contribution to both the good and the fucked-up that make them who they are. I'm proud to say they've all got more good than fucked-up-ness.
I've got one more chance. She's 10-1/2 years old and relatively unscathed. Please, God, help me keep her that way.
It's a conscious choice. Stop. Breathe. And say:
"Honey, you're going to knock 'em dead."
Even when I'm thinking:
"Being in the chorus is perfectly acceptable!"
Stop. Breathe. Doom and Gloom out. Glitter and Spotlights in.